President Donald Trump really seems determined to dig himself into a deep hole in terms of the backlash to his response to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 11 and 12. Trump's tweet about Ken Frazier's resignation has Twitter up in arms. Frazier, the CEO of Merck, resigned from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, Aug. 14. His departure appears to be linked to the fact the president did not go far enough to condemn the white supremacists who marched through Charlottesville.
In a tweet that announced his resignation, Frazier said he was leaving "as CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience." Frazier added, "America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal." Trump responded to this decision in a tweet that said, "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"
Many on Twitter immediately criticized Trump over the fact he's apparently more willing to single out and condemn a prominent black CEO than the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups that marched in Charlottesville.
Trump has been widely criticized for not giving a more forceful denunciation of white supremacy in his initial response to the march white nationalists organized in Charlottesville, which ultimately left one dead and many others injured after a car plowed into a group of people protesting the white supremacists. The fact Trump went out of his way to attack Frazier instead of white nationalists responsible for such chaos clearly infuriated a lot of people.
At the White House on Monday, Aug. 14, Trump condemned the hate groups in more explicit terms.
According to The New York Times, Trump said, "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans." This is the type of response most Americans wanted to hear from Trump in the first place. The fact that it took the president two days to fully condemn neo-Nazis who wreaked havoc in the streets of a historic American city arguably speaks volumes about his priorities.